Editor Name: Lila Allou
Designation: Postdoctoral Scientist
University: Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics
Biography: Dr. Lila Allou is a Postdoctoral Scientist at Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Germany.
Dr. Lila Allou characterized a novel lncRNA locus within the 28-kb deletions, named Maenli (Master activator of engrailed-1 in the limb). She has shown that Maenli exploits a limb-specific 3D configuration to establish a permissive chromatin environment across the En1 limb regulatory domain resulting in limb-specific En1 activation and ventral ectodermal cell fate decision. Also demonstrated that loss of Maenli lncRNA expression is responsible for the severe limb malformations in mice resembling the human phenotype. Thus, her postdoctoral work deals with: 1) Characterized a novel epigenetic regulatory mechanism essential for proper limb development, and 2) Demonstrated that mutations involving lncRNA loci are sufficient to cause human Mendelian diseases, providing a novel conceptual framework in deciphering the molecular mechanisms underlying rare genetic conditions (Allou L et al., Nature, 2021).